Saturday, March 26, 2011

In Fruitland Park

 Rest. Fresh air. Reconnecting. Home.
We had a much needed get away last week. We packed up the car on Friday after school and about 9 hours later arrived in Fruitland Park, FL. The little town where I grew up. I love going home. Birmingham is home now. Eric and Ellie are home. But, Fruitland Park will always be home too. My parents have a beautiful little home with an amazing yard and even better deck where we spent the week. A high school friend was visiting and he called the place an oasis. It really is.

It is such a special place. Besides being where I grew up,
it is where Eric really got to know my family living with us one summer,
where I could hardly wait to come back to during breaks in college,
where Eric proposed,
the last place where  I went to bed as Emily Towne,
the first place news of Ellie was shared,
where Kelly was married.
where we will always love to come back to.

I know home is not a place, but people, a feeling you get.
That is why I love it so.

Ellie spent a lot of time in her pool.

Ellie became quite the animal enthusiast while there. My parents have three dogs, three birds, and my dad has an iguana named Homer. Granted they live on a big piece of land... We were going to take Ellie to the zoo one day, but we figured there was no point in it. Her favorite thing to do was to be held and point from one animal to the next being carried over to each one. Lolly was the only one who didn't tire of that game.

Pool time turned to bath time.

We are so a food family as Eric soon learned. There is always at least one seafood extravaganza.

And of course, projects too. I began learning to embroider while there.

Ellie got to tell my friend Heidi's boy, Lincoln, all about this pool business. He was quite impressed.

I spent a lot of time chasing after this.

We met in 8th grade and have been friends ever since. Heidi is one of those friends I never get to see enough, but when I do it's like we never missed a day. You know those friends.

Eric drove my dad's little convertible most of the week, usually with his golf clubs riding shot gun. However, he took me one night. We went out on a much needed, so special, one of those never forget dates.

We took the scenic route to dinner. You know, that's what you do in a convertible. We drove through blooming orange groves that smelled so sweet, past my childhood home, and over beautiful lakes.

View from dinner.

We took Ellie to Alexander Springs one day.

She was a fan.

So was this guy.

We had a picnic.

Played in the water- which is always 72 degrees. Too cold for me, but Ellie girl did not mind it at all.

Ellie also grew some teeth. Check out those top 2!

We got to spend some great time with my Nana, Papa, and Fran, my great aunt. Papa left us with a long list of classic must see movies and books to read. They have always been such a huge part of my life and I am so glad that Ellie is getting the chance to know and love them too.

Thanks mom and dad for giving us such a good week!
We are now back, unpacked, and settled.
A long week of unpacking, fixing fridge leaks, living a day without water, and trying to keep a teething little girl happy has made the weekend even sweeter!

Drew babysat last night while Eric and I went to prom. It really made me feel like a grown up.
Today we got everything needed for our herb and veggie garden and flower planting extravaganza.

Hope you all have a refreshing weekend too!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Even when I don't understand...

It is hard to think that the images that cover the TV screen are real. Are happening right now. To think of the emotions that someone is experiencing right now. I can not even pretend to imagine.

I should be packing right now since we are heading to FL in a few hours. When tragedies like this happen it is always hard to justify going on with life as normal, when for so many, it is not.

I don't understand how things like this are allowed to happen, how God allows them to occur. I know this is an idea that has kept many people from wanting to know the Lord. I too wrestle with it often and have accepted this as something I will not fully know or feel sure of my answer to this side of eternity.

Yet I must trust Him and know that He is fully good. I guess that is why the Bible refers to child-like faith so often. There are questions that can not be answered where faith, being confident in the One we can not see or fully comprehend, must suffice.

Today I will do the only thing that I can, the most effective thing I could do anyway. Pray for Japan. Pray for the people.

Hello spring break

One of the perks of being married to a teacher is that you still get spring break. Something to get excited about. So this afternoon, as soon as the bell rings, we are heading to FL to visit my parents for a week and enjoy some warm weather and sunshine. (All my hype about spring turned out to be empty... This past week it has been so cold you could see your breath and today is the first day we have seen the sunshine in forever. There has been tons of rain too, see above picture...)

Packing is much easier with a helper.
My style of getting ready to go: Make a list the morning of and try to get it done by 3:00.
Eric's Style: Make a list at least a day in advance, categorize it, color code it, review it with wife the night beforehand. We would be a mess if we both prepared like me. Thankfully, the Lord knew my weaknesses and gave me a man with a plan.
Last year at this time, Ellie was barely 4 weeks old. Look how little! We all needed some sunshine and a change of scenery so Eric packed us up and we headed to FL. Ellie did great and it was a much needed break. Time flies.

PS We made it here safe and (almost) sound! Eric is the most amazing road warrior ever. Ellie has been outside nonstop and has been loving every minute of it. We have been eating good food, visiting with good friends, Eric's out on his 2nd round of golf, and of course there are projects underway! I will post about the week and pics when we get back!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the nest

This room has been my "winter project". It has been so fun to work on! Now, for those of you not into this kind of thing, this post is long with lots of details you probably won't care about! Just a warning...
I mentioned in this post how I had begun working on this room which has come to be known as "The Nest". Gotta love it. Well, this room is the first room I ever really decorated without much help. It was fun because I learned a lot about what "style" I like. I went into it thinking of painting the walls yellow, painting stuff red, having black and white, and lots of vintage-y stuff, but it went a whole other way. I just started with things I liked (the bed and fabric) and rolled with it. That is my decorating philosophy. I don't really go into with a detailed vision. I just find one thing I love and let it lead on to the next.
These are the frames I made earlier. To make them, I painted the frames (which were old ones I'd collected from thrift stores and flea markets) Aegean Blue (by Martha Stewart), drilled small holes in the front to lace thin wire through. Then, I stapled burlap on to the back, making sure to stretch it tight.
I had no idea what to put in this one so I used straight pins to pin up this old handkerchief.
On this one, I pinned this print. This is by Katie Daisy. I love this girl's art so much and would love to collect many of her pieces.
One of the hardest things for me was picking the paint color for the walls. I have had many failed attempts at this in the past. I chose Natural Twine by Martha Stewart and really love it. The bed was our one big splurge, but I am really happy with it.
The pillow were really fun to make. I used this tutorial to make the yoyo's that I pinned on to some of the pillows. This pillow is made out of burlap and I love the texture that it adds.
The rest of the fabric that I used for the pillows and curtains is by either Jennifer Paganelli or Joel Dewberry. I buy it off of etsy because it has the best prices (The b&w polka dots are from JoAnn's.)
Any old lamp can become cute with a coat of paint and I made a flower pin to stick on the shade instead of buying a cuter one.
This is one of the first pieces of furniture my parents bought. They gave it to us a few years ago and it was that light cedar color- not really my thing. So I painted it the same blue as the frames, picked up some knobs at Hobby Lobby and love how it looks. I know some people stress about painting "real wood" stuff, but unless it is like some really sentimental antique type thing, I say go for it. We sanded it a little and then just gave it two coats of paint (We didn't even paint the inside.)
This is one of my favorite parts of the room. These pieces of furniture are hard to find. After scouring every thrift, antique, and junk store in Birmingham we finally found this at Consigning Interiors in Pelham. I didn't have to paint it or anything. I just recovered the chair cushion. I love having a place to store and display things and most of all, a place to leave my sewing machine out all of the time.
I had made some of these for my living room and really liked them. So I decided to make a little bulletin board out of a bigger one. I just bought a large embroidery/quilting hoop, put fabric in it, pulled it tight, trimmed the edges. I use straight pins to stick whatever on it.
My mom came up with this great idea to store ribbon. I just bought a small tension curtain rod and it works great.
And no, everything in here isn't set up and clean all the time. This is more like it. When I am working on a project I usually leave all my junk strung out everywhere. And the fabric usually stays organized like this because of my little crafting partner.
Who loves hanging out in here...
So there you have it! It was a lot of fun and is one of my favorite rooms to be in! These projects were my nap/basketball night go to's. We now have a fun place to host company, work on projects, and hang out.
Now we have a place for our out of town friends to stay! So, come see us!!!